Philadelphia: M. Carey & Sons, 1821. Hardcover. 4to, xix, directions to binder (i), ads (iv), 138pp, 36 color plates. Extremely clean copy of volume one (of three) of an important American flora, a work which includes the first successful use of stipple engraving in the United States. 16 plates are by Cornelius Tiebout, "the first really skilled engraver born in the United States, although he trained in London for two years in the 1790s to perfect his technique" - Reese. The book is described as "magnificently illustrated" (DAB) with "plates [that] are clear, soft and lovely' (Bennett). Original half red calf with marbled boards. Spine lacking, front cover detached but present. Internally, very good.
An important American flora, "magnificently illustrated" (DAB) with "plates [that] are clear, soft and lovely" (Bennett). The work includes the first successful use of stipple engraving in the United States. This set includes the rare "To Subscribers" leaf in the second volume. In addition to its significance as a botanical work, Barton's FLORA... is also one of the most important early color plate books produced entirely in the United States.
Barton states in the advertisement to the first volume that some of the "plates are printed in color, and are afterwards colored by hand. It is confidently believed by the author, that they will be found the most successful attempts at imitation by sound engraving, of the French style, yet made in this country." He goes on to note that the method of color printing was the result of "repeated experiments" owing "to the impossibility of obtaining information as to the manner of coloring abroad." The text gives details of each species, its Latin binomial, common name, and class and order according to the Linnean system, followed by interesting information about the history of the discovery of the species and details about its geographical range. BM (NH) I, p.105. BENNETT, p.9 (incorrect plate count). DUNTHORNE 26. NISSEN (BBI) 84. MacPHAIL, BENJAMIN SMITH BARTON AND WILLIAM CRILLON BARTON 19. MEISEL III, p.385. PRITZEL 446. REESE, STAMPED WITH A NATIONAL CHARACTER 11. SABIN 3858. STAFLEU & COWAN 236. Item #13191